Puget Sound Regional Council

Everett has allowed attached accessory dwelling units (ADU) as permitted uses in single-family zones since the mid-1990s. One ADU is allowed per 5,000 square foot or larger lot. Units must be sized less than 800 square feet or 40% of the combined square footage of both dwelling units (whichever is less). About 10 ADUs have been constructed since 2000. In historic overlay zones in single family neighborhoods, and in multiple family zones, the city allows detached ADUs. The city has prepared a packet that contains information and applications to guide homeowners through the ADU process.


In 2009, in response to a property owner’s request, Everett moved to amend its ADU ordinance. The new ordinance would have facilitated more units by allowing detached units, multiple utility hookups and removing the requirement for owner-occupancy of the property. However, the city council decided not to amend the existing code.

While the results of these amendments cannot be measured, Everett provides an example of how the components of an ADU ordinance can be adapted to suit community preference, and changed to align with housing goals.


Location: Everett, WA
Date Built: Mid-1990s
Renter/Owner: Mostly rental
Number of Units: ±10*
Target Population: Market rate, low-income
Enabling Policies/Housing Tools: ADU Ordinance, Community Education and Outreach
Contact: Everett Planning & Community Development
Credits: City of Everett, PSRC photo
Links: Everett ADU regulations (Section 19.39.020.D)

Puget Sound Regional Council • 1011 Western Ave, Suite 500 • Seattle, WA 98104 • 206-464-7090